Dear John, Really?
Words and Photo by Janea Beakley
Pastor John Piper said, “Everything we do—even drinking orange juice—can be done with the intention and hope that it will be to the advantage of many that they may be saved.”
I read that and thought, "Uh oh! Really, Pastor John?" If I must do everything to the glory of God, even drinking orange juice, that means I must do dishes to the glory of God too. And grocery shopping. Driving to Awanas. Working out at the YMCA. Changing dirty diapers? Urgh, convicting.
It’s certainly not a new concept that ALL I do must be done to the glory of God. I’ve had 1 Corinthians 10:31 underlined in my Bible and memorized since I was a little girl. So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God. Since it does use the word ALL, of course Pastor John is right, ALL includes drinking orange juice. The convicting part is how that truth plays out in real life.
I confess, in the chaos of a whining toddler, urgent requests to read yet another library book, dinner waiting to be cooked, and guests expected soon after, I’m not thinking about how I can glorify God. That’s because I’m not thinking rightly.
I’m left searching my own heart, asking why? Why is it so difficult to look past the distractions (even the good ones) to what really matters? Why am I kept up at night thinking about shopping lists, projects, doctor appointments, and car repairs when I‘d rather be praying for unsaved relatives, strategizing about how to evangelize to our neighbors, or reading up on that counseling issue for the girl I’m mentoring?
It’s because I’m neatly separating my life into compartments labeled “spiritual” and “secular.” Picking up dry cleaning—secular. Helping at youth group—spiritual. But God doesn’t work in boxes like that. After all, 90% of life is mundane—work, homework, sleeping, eating. Each and every daily circumstance is an opportunity to exercise my glorifying-God-muscles. Each errand I run is a fresh venue to live out my faith before watching eyes. Each tantrum is a chance to direct a little heart toward the only one who can change it. That random encounter with the lady at the park is really no coincidence. The phone call or email I don’t have time for—all momentary gifts from God, whispering, calling me to enjoy Him by glorify Him.
Will I fail? Yes. Will I react impatiently? Yes. Will I complain about late nights, a busy schedule, missed date nights with my husband? Sadly, yes. But that’s when I most acutely see my need for the gospel in real life—the good news that Jesus paid it all. Then I can bask in the light of the great truth in Romans our congregation recently discussed—there is no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. That’s me! He forgives me when I fall and calls me to press on, seeking to glorify Him in ALL I do.
Tomorrow, endless new mercies await. But for now, I think I’ll go enjoy a tall chilled glass of orange juice.
Janea is an Illinois transplant from LA. She is married to Josh Beakley and has two littles. She enjoys jogging in the rain, reading theological books, and watching Netflix with her man. Her most recent hobby is videographer of spontaneous ballet dances. Currently number one on her grocery list is, you guessed it, orange juice.